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Heated & Cooled power leather seats

Discussion in 'Seats' started by swilson143, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. swilson143

    swilson143 Junior Member

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    First Name:
    Scott
    Truck Year:
    1991
    Truck Model:
    Suburban V2500
    Engine Size:
    6.0L LQ4
    I know this is blasphemy, Ford seats in a GM! But this project was more about my bad back than keeping my truck all GM.

    This project also was not cheap, but if you have a back like mine you understand the value of having the right seat.

    I recently bought my 91 GMC Suburban. The PO had recovered the original seats so they looked fantastic, but I need more from my seats. I've been through three back surgeries and probably have more in my future. I need a seat with excellent support and lumbar. That said, I was willing to spend some coin to put a really good seats in the Suburban.

    I previously had a 2017 F-350 with the heated cool leather seats. I knew the seats were extremely good for my back, and the heat cool feature is super nice. After researching I found that the newest generation Ford seats sell for $2k a piece, but the 2009-2014 F-150 seats are extremely similar and are about 1/4 the price.

    These seats have excellent side bolsters, are firm, have great lumbar support, and are powered. I ended up buying a pair from eBay for $1,100 shipped to my door.

    When you're shopping wreck yard seats know that these seats have airbags in them. So pay attention whether the bag is blown. You'll have to factor in the cost of having the seat cover repaired if the bag went off in a collision.

    I looked into getting seats with blown airbags and putting new covers on them, but it was cost prohibitive. The seat covers used for the heated and cooled seats used very expensive foam and aftermarket companies are charging crazy prices for them

    The cheapest way to do this would probably be to get seats with blown bags and have the original covers repaired[​IMG]

    Sent from my Pixel 4 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
  2. swilson143

    swilson143 Junior Member

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    Scott
    Truck Year:
    1991
    Truck Model:
    Suburban V2500
    Engine Size:
    6.0L LQ4
    I tackled the wiring for these seats in two stages. Stage one was just getting the lumbar support and motors to work. These were designed to be used with control modules, so the factory wiring was extremely complex. After researching the F-150 forums I found that they're relatively easy to wire up to not use the modules.

    The passenger seat is a breeze. If you go to the switch panel on the side of the seat you'll find two thick gauge wires in that harness. Supply +12V and ground to those wires and you're done.

    The driver's seat is a little more intense. You'll want to start by removing the tape and wiring loom to expose all of the wires. You can remove any control modules and toss them.

    Just like in the passenger seat, the switch panel will have two thick gauge wires. Go ahead and connect them to +12v and ground.

    That way as you connect your motors, you can operate the switches and see that the correct motor is moving, and it's moving in the correct direction. You're going to be connecting each motor in the seat directly to the corresponding switch in the side panel.

    Each seat motor has four wires coming out of it. You're only interested in the two larger gauge wires because those power the motor. You're taking the motor wires and connecting them directly to the switch wires. Ford varied the wire color coding over the years, but the color coding in the attached photo was about 90% correct for my seat.

    Next I tackled mounting the seat.[​IMG][​IMG]

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    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
  3. swilson143

    swilson143 Junior Member

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    First Name:
    Scott
    Truck Year:
    1991
    Truck Model:
    Suburban V2500
    Engine Size:
    6.0L LQ4
    Square body suburbans have a very high floor beneath the seat. You'll need to keep your seat mounts as low as possible.

    The F-150 seats have very tall feet on them. I cut them off as low as I could. Then I welded crossbars between the seat rails.

    I made two other crossbars that mimic the shape of the feet on the factory seat rails. These two crossbars bolt in using the factory bolts.

    Then I set the seats in the Suburban, made sure they were squared up and welded the seat to the cross bars.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  4. swilson143

    swilson143 Junior Member

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    Truck Year:
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    Truck Model:
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    Engine Size:
    6.0L LQ4
    The next weekend I tackled the wiring for the heated and cooled features. These seats don't use traditional seat heaters. They use a thermal electric device (TED) and a blower motor. The TEDs are capable of heating and cooling. They heat or cool the air that the blowers pass across them.

    There is a TED and fan in the seat back and another set in the seat bottom. Wiring these up was a bit more complicated than I expected. I searched hard, but found no wiring diagrams online. I drew up a wiring diagram which should simplify things for you.

    You'll need 2 double pole double throw DPDT switches, 4 relays, 2 red LEDs and 2 blue LEDs.

    I was not able to find reliable information on wire color coding online, but I can talk you through this.

    Finding the fan wires is easy. Each fan has three wires coming out of it, VIO, RED, & BLK. You're going to supply +12V to VIO and ground the BLK wire. You'll find it's easier to follow the VIO & BLK wires through the harness connector and connect up to whatever color wire Ford used rather than trying to get in the confined space next to the fan.

    Next you'll need to find the wires to power the TEDs. Check the wiring harness coming out of each TED. Two wires are a larger gauge than the rest. Those are the ones you want.

    You're going to experiment to figure out the polarity. Make sure your fan is on first. You would not want to power up a TED without air blowing across it. Then connect your TED wires, one to +12v and the other to ground.

    Now check whether the TED is heating or cooling the seat. Note that if the TED is pushing hot air through the seat cushion then it's pushing cool air through its exhaust port beneath the seat. The reverse is also true.

    If you reverse the wires to your TED, it will do the opposite function. If previously it was heating, reversing the wiring causes it to cool. Now write down the color coding of your wires So you keep the polarity correct.

    Once you've identified the polarity of each TED, you'll tie the upper and lower TEDs together so that the polarity is consistent. that way the seat back and seat bottom are both cooling or heating together.

    Now that you've figured out the polarity of your TEDs and have identified your fan wiring, you'll be able to wire up using the attached diagram

    Note that using this wiring method eliminates any thermostat features that Ford had designed it with, to keep the seat from getting overly warm or cool. You'll simply switch off your seat when you're warm enough.

    TROUBLESHOOTING
    If when you switch your seat to cool it is actually heating, you've just wired your switches to the wrong relays. Pull the wires off of both pin-85 connectors and reconnect them to the opposite relay.

    If when you switch your seat to cool you find that one cushion is cooling and the other cushion is heating, then you've just got the polarity of that TED backwards. Go back to the wires for the misbehaving TED and reconnect them opposite of what you had done.

    NOTE
    The color coding of the TED wires in my diagram is just for demonstration. You'll be using the color coding you wrote down when you figured out the polarity of your TEDs.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
  5. MrPink

    MrPink Full Access Member

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    Truck Year:
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    Truck Model:
    C10
    Engine Size:
    350
    nice write up
     
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  6. swilson143

    swilson143 Junior Member

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    Truck Model:
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    Engine Size:
    6.0L LQ4
    The 30-year-old GM seat belts in my Suburban we're very very tired! Since my F-150 seats already had the buckle integrated into them I decided to install the rest of the F-150 seat belt.

    I removed my GM seatbelt and cut the foot off the bottom of the assembly. I then bolted the F-150 assembly to that foot. This way they're still attached with factory hardware.

    The upper attachment point on the b pillar was the correct size. I was able to use the GM hardware to attach the upper part of the seatbelt.

    These seat belts did have pretensioners from the factory, so they're a bit expensive to buy new. Your best bet is to find a lightly used set at a wreck yard.

    I'll probably create a decorative cover for them like the factory seat belt had in the future.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  7. MrPink

    MrPink Full Access Member

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    Engine Size:
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    could probably get someone to 3d print covers for both the retractor and the bolt on the anchor.
     
  8. Snoots

    Snoots Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    350
    Very nice work and project in an excellent article!

    Side note: The seats don't say 'furd' so you're ok. Cheers (2).gif
     
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  9. swilson143

    swilson143 Junior Member

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    Engine Size:
    6.0L LQ4
    GREAT idea. I had been thinking mold some gray kydex into a cover, but the printing idea would be slick.

    :gr_grin:
     
  10. peats

    peats Full Access Member

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    Truck Year:
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    Engine Size:
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    nice job. i did the same thing using lexus rx350 seats in my '81 c10. biggest challenge is to get them low enough with the crazy floor pan ups and downs. tilt wheel helps. comfortable seating is high on my list of priorities as well as yours.
     
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  11. Kiely

    Kiely Junior Member

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    Truck Year:
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    Truck Model:
    C10 Custom Deluxe
    Engine Size:
    454-4bbl
    Great post and information. I too have a screwed back, 3 fusions so far and 2 more coming for Christmas. I have beautiful original seats. But we all know how rough these trucks ride. They were farm trucks after all. So I need to install new seats. I have a 2019 Blazer with leather heated and cooled seats. I need to install similar ones in the truck. Thank you for the inspiration.
     
  12. Rob Goblin

    Rob Goblin Full Access Member

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    :rockit:Nice write up and the Ford seats look sexy as hell in the Chevy!!!
     
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  13. Tank6x2

    Tank6x2 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Engine Size:
    350, TH400.4:10 gears 2WD
    Phenomenal job Bubba!
     
  14. Brian Bonehill

    Brian Bonehill Junior Member

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    Truck Year:
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    Engine Size:
    5.7
    REALLY AWESOME! I am trying to do the SAME exact thing. I have been looking at using Caddy CTS seats as they seem to have a lower profile. How is the leg room under the steering wheel? That is my only concern in going the truck seat route. I dont want my head against the ceiling. Most of the taller late model chevy (and ford) seats seem to sit too high even when you cut off the bracketing. That suburban 'hump" is tough to get around.

    Bad ass work!
     
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  15. swilson143

    swilson143 Junior Member

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    Truck Model:
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    Engine Size:
    6.0L LQ4
    No leg room issues. With the seat all the way down and the tilt column straight, there's a bit over 6"clearance.

    One notch up on the tilt column was 7" and all the way up was 9"[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my Pixel 4 using Tapatalk
    [​IMG]
     

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